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Psychology in the Medical Field

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Psychology is a large part of medicine. As a matter of fact, most of the time they go hand in hand. More often than not when a patient enters a doctors office with a claim to be suffering from pain. It’s often as much mental as it is physical. For example when a professional athlete is injured and unable to participate in he or she’s sport for a long duration of time. Stressors from not being able to return to their sport, not being at 100%, or even not being able to contribute to their team. These negative thoughts build up in the athletes head, making therapy difficult. Therefore mental health is just as important.

Patients that suffer from mental illnesses aren’t treated by everyone’s perceived version of a traditional doctor. They are treated by a medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illnesses, often referred to as psychiatrists. Psychiatry and psychiatrist are direct links to medicine. Its even in the name. The suffix “iatry” means medical treatment which comes from the Greek term “itreia” meaning healing, and that term came from the suffix “iatros” meaning treatment or physician. (Medicine, 2016)

Doctors often use psychology methods as a form of treatment, for example the placebo effect. Even though this method is normally used to test experimental drugs. It’s use in the medical field is just as effective. According to professor Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard, doctors often prescribe placebo medication for stress related insomnia, cancer treatment side effects like fatigue or nausea, and pain management. (Harvard, 2017) Though a placebo is not a cure for broken limbs tumors or cholesterol issues, Professor Kaptchuk states that they work on symptoms modulated from the brain. Although its seems foul to give patients that suffer from real medical symptoms a fake treatment, it works. According to Harvard men’s health watch; “The mind is a powerful healing tool when given a chance.” Which explains why a “Fake treatment” can be so effective.

All in all psychology plays a major role in medicine. Health psychology is looked at as the best of both worlds. Health psychologist study psychological behavioral processes in health. Meaning they focus on how mental, emotional, and social factors affect a persons well being. According to careersinpsychology.org “health psychologist try to understand how an illness affects the emotional and mental well being of a patient.” As to where medical professionals are more interested in the treatment of the illness. The point being, its like peanut butter and jelly. They compliment each other. Sure you could have them separate but they’re better together

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